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  • About the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer

  • How we tested

  • What we like

  • What we don't like

  • Related content

  • Should you buy the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer?

Pros

  • Cooks well

  • Lots of features

  • Built-in thermometer

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Manual could be more helpful

We've published previous Ninja Foodi reviews, like for the air fry oven and the original multicooker model with dual lids, and have been largely impressed by their functionality.

That's what made us excited to dig into the latest model, with all its updated features and single lid, and see if it's worth making counter space for.

About the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer

Close up of a Ninja Foodi multicooker on a kitchen countertop.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The latest Ninja Foodi multicooker offers 14 cooking functions.

The latest Ninja multicooker model builds off of its predecessor, with even more functionality and convenience.

It features 14 cooking functions:

  • Air fry
  • Bake/roast
  • Broil
  • Pressure
  • Sear/sauté
  • Slow cook
  • Sous vide
  • Steam
  • Steam and bake
  • Steam and crisp
  • Proof
  • Yogurt
  • Dehydrate
  • Keep warm

This model also comes with four handy accessories: the Smart Thermometer, two layered reversible racks, an eight-quart cooking pot, and a Cook & Crisp basket. The racks, pot, and basket are all dishwasher safe, with the pot and basket featuring a nonstick ceramic coating that's PTFE/PFOA-safe.

How we tested

A person places an entree onto a rack inside a multicooker Ninja Foodi.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

Our kitchen writer put the Foodi through several rounds of testing to gauge how well it functions.

Given that a multicooker boasts several different features, we put this appliance through a number of tests to get a full picture of its functionality.

First, we tested the air fry feature to cook a batch of fried chicken and compared the results to traditional deep-fried chicken, as well as oven-baked chicken. The results were almost comparable to our deep-fried recipe. The chicken had a satisfying crunch but remained tantalizingly juicy on the inside.

We also used the air fry feature to cook a batch of frozen French fries and chicken nuggets, monitoring results for even cooking and crispiness.

We then made batches of risotto, vegetarian chili, homemade yogurt, crusty bread, and slow cooked pulled chicken to get a feel for the wide range of Foodi features.

Finally, we used the Steam & Crisp function to make two full meals: Chicken fajitas with peppers and rice, and salmon with broccoli and quinoa.

During testing, we also took note of how long things like preheating took, how helpful the accompanying manual/recipe book was, and how easy the parts were to clean.

What we like

Three images of food being prepared and served for a dinner.
Credit: Reviewed / Monica Petrucci

From homemade yogurt, to one-pot fajitas, to stovetop sauteing, the Ninja Foodi functions seem endless.

Its capabilities are vast

This one-stop-shop appliance can replace several space-stealing appliances. It can sous vide fish, proof dough, dehydrate fruit, ferment yogurt, and countless other tasks that you may not have expected yourself to be capable of at home.

Other multicookers we've tested have offered some of these functions, but this machine goes above and beyond in offering a much wider range—all under one lid.

The previous Foodi multicooker we tested required switching between two lids: one for air frying and crisping, and the other for pressure cooking and steaming. This new model nixes that inconvenience, and replaces it with a SmartLid slider, where you can easily switch between Pressure, SteamCrisp, and Stovetop/Air Fry settings.

And with an interface that I found to be user-friendly and intuitive, navigating the countless cooking functions wasn't intimidating.

The Steam & Crisp function works wonders

Six pieces of frozen chicken cooked on a cookie sheet after exiting a Ninja Foodi air fryer.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The air fried chicken we made in the Foodi was delicious, with a crispy exterior and juicy interior.

My favorite feature of the Foodi was the Steam & Crisp setting. Similar to the TenderCrisp function on the previous model, this can be used to cook anything from produce to protein, leaving food crispy on the outside but still juicy and tender on the inside.

We used it to make a batch of chicken fajitas, with the Deluxe Reversible Rack separating rice on the bottom, peppers and onions in the middle, and chicken on top. In just 20 minutes, the rice absorbed liquid and seasoning efficiently (without overcooking), peppers and onions softened, and the chicken became juicy on the inside with a satisfying crispy exterior.

We saw similar results when cooking a meal of quinoa, broccoli, and salmon. When the machine was done, the quinoa was tender, the broccoli roasted, and the salmon tender and golden-crisp.

The probe thermometer is convenient and works well

A person measures the temperature of a cooked piece of salmon inside a Ninja Foodi.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

The Smart Thermometer is a clever addition to the Foodi that makes perfectly cooked proteins an easy feat.

The Foodi model we tested comes with a built-in Smart Thermometer, which can be used to cook protein to an exact temperature. There are also associated automatic programs to cook protein according to desired doneness. Just insert the probe, decide between rare and well done (or somewhere in between), and the Foodi does the rest.

We tried it on the Fish setting at Medium for our salmon-quinoa-broccoli dish, and the resulting fish had a crispy brown exterior while the inside was tender and almost falling apart (just how we like it).

There are also thermometer settings for beef, lamb, pork, and chicken/turkey. Once the thermometer is inserted (both into the meat and into the plug under the lid), choosing the protein type and preferred doneness on the screen takes just seconds. You set it, and the Foodi will tell you when it's ready.

It's easy to clean

Most times, the worst part of cooking dinner is the clean-up. Typically a meal that includes protein, grains, and veggies requires several pots and pans, and sometimes they even need to be hand washed.

Luckily, all accessories that come with this multicooker—the reversible rack, cooking pot, and Cook & Crisp basket—can be tossed in the dishwasher after use. Since they all have that ceramic nonstick coating, they're incredibly easy to rinse off beforehand.

Everything I cooked took just seconds and some hot water to remove residue from the surface. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and quick clean-up was each and every time.

What we don't like

A person places a metal rack inside a Ninja Foodi multicooker.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

Without a helpful manual, I struggled to appropriately assemble the reversible rack at first.

The instruction booklet falls short

I found myself struggling to get accustomed to how this machine works, at first. The provided booklet wasn't as helpful as I would've liked. It doesn't include photo diagrams describing each piece of the machine, so I had to dig through the Ninja website to find the full manual, which was more helpful. (It took a lot of searching for the Smart Thermometer—which was tucked away discreetly on the side—before I finally caved to look online.)

There were other instructions that were lacking as well, like an explanation of how the steam knob works, and certain core recipes (like how to make yogurt—I had to find that online, too) that disappointed me about the included booklet.

When you consider that some folks may not be as tech savvy—or have access to the internet at all—it's much more crucial to include all the user information in the provided booklet, rather than hidden somewhere online.

Some provided recipes were mediocre

(1) Sub-par risotto and mushrooms in a dish. (2) Bland white bread made inside a Ninja Foodi.
Credit: Reviewed / Monica Petrucci

The risotto and bread recipes that came in the Foodi's manual were disappointing.

While some recipes in the Foodi cookbook were missing altogether, others were underwhelming.

The risotto, for example, was mushy and lacking in flavor. I was already skeptical upon reading that the recipe could be made in one pot in just 10 minutes, since risotto isn't typically known for being quick and low maintenance.

Unsurprisingly, the rice was not al dente, and the recipe lacked ingredients that I'm used to adding in my risotto—like onions, wine, and butter—which resulted in a meh flavor. The consistency was also less creamy and more watery.

I was disappointed by the provided recipe for crusty bread, too. While it was easy enough to follow the instructions—thanks to the handy proofing function—the results for the recipe underwhelmed. The loaf was flat, parts of the inside seemed undercooked, and the crust was thin and lacking any satisfying crunch.

If you want to get into making bread at home—and are looking for an easy beginner's recipe—we recommend using a Dutch oven instead.

Related content

Should you buy the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer?

A person lifts a tiered metal rack loaded with cooked food out of a Ninja Foodi.
Credit: Reviewed / Tim Renzi

Cooking dinner with the Steam & Crisp function means easy prep, easy clean-up, and tasty results.

Yes!

The few downsides we noticed when testing the Ninja Foodi—like the lacking user manual and provided recipes—could all be redeemed with trial and error.

Thanks to an entire online community of Foodi customers (and the Ninja Test Kitchen), there are plenty of methods and recipes to experiment with in order to make sure you get the most out of this appliance.

And given that the options are virtually endless when it comes to making large-portioned and balanced meals in the Foodi, we think it's worth the plunge. Especially given its professional-grade meal results, easy-to-clean parts, and wide ranging functionality.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Monica Petrucci

Monica Petrucci

Senior Staff Writer, Kitchen & Cooking

@monicatpetrucci

Monica is Reviewed's senior Kitchen & Cooking staff writer. A graduate of Emerson College, she's had her work published in The Boston Globe, Culture Cheese Magazine, Modern Luxury, and more. In her spare time, you can find her making coffee, flipping through magazines, or falling down a TikTok rabbit hole.

See all of Monica Petrucci's reviews

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